What is Ethical Hacking? A beginners guide

image-What is Ethical Hacking? A beginners guide
user-profile-photoMary O

April 12, 2024

Ethical Hacking, also known as penetration testing or white-hat hacking, is the practice of using computer hacking skills for good. Just like a doctor learns how viruses affect the body to treat illnesses, ethical hackers understand how real hackers think and act to protect computers and networks.

Why Do We Need Ethical Hackers?

Every day, millions of people use the internet to shop, play games, and talk to friends. But just like in the real world, there are bad actors who want to steal, cause chaos, or just prove they can break into systems. Ethical hackers are the digital world’s superheroes, who fight against these cybercriminals. They help keep our sensitive information, like credit card numbers and personal messages, safe from thieves.

How Do Ethical Hackers Do Their Job?

Ethical hackers use the same tools and knowledge as malicious hackers but with permission. Imagine you asked a friend to try and pick the lock on your house to see if it’s secure. Ethical hackers do something similar for computer systems. They:

  1. Scan for Weaknesses: Like checking doors and windows in a house, they look for vulnerabilities in software and networks.
  2. Test the System: They try to break into these systems through these weaknesses, but only to report these vulnerabilities, not to cause harm.
  3. Report and Fix: After finding a way in, they report back to the owners of the system with suggestions on how to make it safer.

Becoming an Ethical Hacker

Becoming an ethical hacker requires a mix of curiosity, technical computer skills, and a strong moral compass. You’ll need to learn about computer systems, networks, and security measures. Many ethical hackers have degrees in computer science, but just as important is a passion for learning and a commitment to doing no harm. There are also special certifications, like the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), which proves that you have what it takes to hack for good.

In summary, ethical hacking is all about making the internet a safer place for everyone. By understanding the tactics of hackers, ethical hackers can help build stronger defenses, educate others on good security practices, and ensure that our digital lives are protected. It’s a field where being the “good guy” means staying one step ahead of the bad guys, and where your skills can make a real difference in the world.

So next time you log on to your favorite game or app, remember: there are ethical hackers out there, working behind the scenes to keep you and your digital kingdom safe.

Hopefully, this gives you a good overview of what ethical hacking is all about!

Read More